Ashutosh Jindal, IAS, Secretary, Govt. of Tripura
When I received an email requesting me to write a piece for the new website, I could not decide initially what to write about. Since the website is hosted by the bright minds of Tripura who have excelled outside the State, I thought of writing on how we could gainfully employ more youth from Tripura in the various professional streams.
I find it intriguing that the educated youth of Tripura keep trying endlessly for a low-salary government job when they have the potential to do much more in their professional lives. My experience in Tripura interacting with countless boys and girls is that they are very bright and talented, but what handicaps them perhaps is lack of adequate awareness about newly emerging job opportunities outside Tripura and how to avail these. There are immense opportunities in the sectors like IT-enabled and BPO services, health care centres and related support services, entertainment sector (shopping centres, restaurants and multiplexes), hospitality and tourism services – to mention a few here – even for semi-skilled persons. Unfortunately, at present, most of these opportunities exist mostly in and around metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Delhi. It may take some more time before such opportunities percolate down fully to tier-II and tier-III cities like Agartala and Guwahati, or other State capitals, like Patna and Ranchi.
In my view, there are three essential pre-requisites for bridging this apparent gap between the existing demand within Tripura and the huge employment opportunities available.
First, the youth have to acquire the right skill sets, like the advanced knowledge of computers and related gadgets, the ability to understand and speak accented English for a BPO job, etc.
Second, the language skills, particularly in the English language, have to be upgraded for better employability in the new wave of jobs. Third, and which is most relevant for Tripura, is the need to set up Counselling Centre(s) where the youth can learn about all employment avenues available and the basic skills and qualifications required for a particular professional career. These Centres would have to be managed by professional agencies who can keep themselves abreast with the latest trends and changing realities of job market. For professional educational institutions like management schools and engineering colleges, there is already an institutionalized arrangement for this Counselling through the campus placement wings and through constant dialogue between the Academia and the Corporate world. The idea is to have a similar structure which would cover a wide bouquet of professional careers and meet the needs of a relatively inaccessible State like Tripura.
It may be difficult for the Government alone to do all of the above and the Government institutions and the private initiative will have to come together and work in close coordination to achieve the desired objectives.
(the views are strictly personal and not those of the Government)